Posts Tagged: architecture

The London Skyline at Dusk from the Embankment Bridge

The London Skyline at Dusk from the Embankment Bridge

Sun. 11.18.18 – Yes, I am back in London to write. I find that I write best here, for a number of reasons both known and rather mysterious to me. When I am home in California, I can muster 2000-4000 words per month, hardly words enough to finish a short story in reasonable time – let alone a book. When I am in London, I can reach that word count in two days or less.

The last two years of US politics have heavily weighed me down and when I get to London, as long as I stay off of the news and social media sites, I am able to feel slightly bouyant again. At least here, I can float in my imagination – unfettered from the fecal matter of US politics – long enough to create and write.

While I am not participating in the NaBloPoMo nor NaNoWriMo, I am doing my best to restart my blogging practice in a more regular fashion – albeit in clumps – as well as finish writing a few stories and a book.

Here I am for a month. Let’s see how much writing and editing I can get done. Wish me luck.

Photo taken by Ms. Jen from the Embankment Golden Jubilee Bridge at dusk with her camera phone.

Glass and Steel Bridge, Nokia House

Looking back through one of the glass and steel bridges that connects buildings at Nokia House

Sat 11.09.13 – As promised, I am continuing to post photos from my shooting Ilford black & white film spree this summer.
Photo of one of the glass and steel bridges between buildings at Nokia House in Espoo, Finland, taken by Ms. Jen on 07.25.13 with her Nikon FM3a, a manual 50mm f/1.8 lens, and Ilford XP2 Super 400 film.
Previously:
Spiral, Nokia House

Urbanista Diaries: Why Ms. Jen is Taking the Photos She is Taking in India

[note: This post was written on Feb. 18th in Goa, India, but could not be published until later due to lack of wifi or internet connection.]
“Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.”
India as the bride. From all of the billboards and other street advertising, India is big on weddings. Thus, I decided to pull the above proverb from the Euro-American tradition and use it as a major theme for the photos I would be taking / am taking with the Nokia N82 for the Urbanista Diaries trip to India.
It is fitting as South India, where I am visiting, is in a period of economic growth and cultural change. On every corner there is something old, something new, something colorful, and who knows… possibly something borrowed.
As I take photos of the India that I am photo walking and driving through, I am most intrigued and captured by the contrasts in architecture, color, typography / signage, and people in the cityscapes / landscapes, as well as the street dogs that are in all of the cities. The color and geometry of buildings in contrast to each other, the environment and the bustle of city life has been particularly intriguing.
In Chennai there was quite a bit of great art deco architecture, Bangalore is sprouting glass medium to highrises, Kerala is a mishmash of old dutch colonial and new sky scraping apartment buidlings, and Goa is a fascinating mix of old colonial Portugese with 1940s art deco to 1970s socialist brutalisme concrete block buildings.
India is the place to be if you are a graphic designer in love with type. The range of signage and advertising from hand painted to the highly sophisticated is amazing. And then the placement of said signs in their environmental milieu can be extraordinary.
I have not taken a lot of photos of people, unless I have their permission or if they are within the context of the cityscape / landscape. I hope that when I am in Mumbai there will be more opportunity to take appropriate people photos, esp. of street fashion. Today I saw a Goan couple walking down the street, she in cuffed jeans and he with a moderate quiff. Hmmm…
On top of what I am choosing to take photos of, I have after the Chennai Photo walk and viewing all 150 of those photos in the context of the Flash interface on the Urbanista Diaries site, I realized that they functioned almost as stop motion animation when the Urbanista slide show was fully loaded and playing smoothly with the big photos and the thumbnails. Since last Sunday’s photo walk, I have been purposefully shooting a lot of photos, not deleting, and shooting multiples of a subject as I walk or drive past as to maximize the cinematic effect of the Urbanista flash slide show.
There you have it: Ms. Jen’s photo theory thoughts on shooting mobile photos in India. For the moment at least.

Wintry

Chichester Cathedral

Fri Nov. 23, 2007 – Today was a big day for travel. Mom and I started out the day after checking out of the lovely & funky Litten House B&B by walking over to the Chichester Cathedral.
The dreary rain of Ireland and the off and on rain of Wednesday had fully cleared out and a good wintry wind came in its stead. I was all bundled up and it was brisk to say the least. Of course, I loved the clear, clean, cold air. Not only was it invigorating but it made for great exterior photographic light all day, be it at Chichester or Stonehenge or Old Sarum.
The wind bit the most and was downright cold on the Salisbury plain as we hurriedly trotted around Stonehenge. Mom wondered if it was warmer when they built Stonehenge out on that hill.
Tonight we walked from our B&B down to town to have dinner and it didn’t feel as cold as this afternoon, due to lack of wind, but when I checked the temperature it was 32F or 0C!
Our “Stones: Cathedrals and Circles” tour of Southern England will continue tomorrow as we will visit the Salisbury Cathedral in the morning and Avebury in the afternoon before moving on to Oxford tomorrow evening.

London’s Jewel – St. Bartholomew the Great

St. Bartholomew the Great from the outside Gate from the Hospital Sq. to the Church, 15th cent. West Entrance to St. Bart's Oldest Baptismal Font in Use in London Ambulatory at St. Bart's The Choir The Transcept The Choir Ceiling, last restored in the 1890s Ambulatory Windows, and thick Romanesque walls Original 1100s Romanesque arches, with later more "Gothic" Arches in Ambulatory The Thick Romanesque Piers Looking from the Ambulatory to the Choir Gothic or Tudor triparte windows Tudor era gate between the hospital and the church yard The External Layers of St. Bart's

Thanks to my high school World History instructor, Mr. Giroux, and my freshman in college history professor, Dr. B. Bradford Blaine , I have a deep and abiding first love of medieval art, architecture, history, and accomplishments (go visit the Magna Carta, if you doubt anything good could have come from 450 A.D. to 1500 A.D.).
Mr. Giroux was the best sort of extra bright and eccentric teacher for a 15 year old to have. He taught several generations of high school students and was a couple of years away from retirement by the time I passed through his class in 1982-1983. He started out the day by saying to me, “Miss Hanen, your uncle John (class of 1969) was one of the best students I have ever had, I expect you to do better.” I had no choice, I did. When my brother arrived the next year, Joe received the following speach, “Mr. Hanen, your uncle John and your sister Jenifer were two of the best students I have ever had, I expect you to do better.” He didn’t, but Joe still loves all things history and medieval regardless of his performance in Mr. Giroux’s class.
Long memories and family jokes aside, Mr. Giroux spent about 1/3 of the year covering the middle ages when they were only 1,000 years out of a potential 10,000 to cover. Mr. Giroux was openly and deeply in love with Eleanor of Aquitaine, of which their separation in centuries and stations in life is why he never married. Best of all, when Mr. Giroux retired the LA Times did a big article on his full scale model of Aquitaine that inhabited his whole living room and took 30 years to build.
How could one not fall in love with all things 500 – 1500 A.D. with a 9th grade history teacher like Mr. Giroux?

(more…)